Sweet reversal: Harmful effects of fructose traced to one protein in a study of mice
Knocking out a liver protein in mice can reverse the damaging effects of a super-sweet diet. Diets loaded with high-fructose corn syrup wreak havoc on metabolic processes, but how fructose does its damage has been a mystery. The new study, appearing in the March 4 Cell Metabolism, identifies a possible culprit, a protein in the liver called PGC-1 beta.
The new research is “putting together things that we know and making a link,” comments Carlos Hernandez of the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. The paper highlights the importance of PGC-1 beta in the whole process, says Hernandez, who wrote a commentary in the same issue of Cell Metabolism on the new research.
Over the past decade, high-fructose corn syrup has made its way into Western diets through soda and processed foods in ever-increasing amounts. Diets high in fructose are linked to a slew of metabolic disorders, including nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, high blood levels of